Skip to main contentCambridge University Reporter

No 6391

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Vol cxlv No 35

pp. 632–650


Second-stage Report of the Council on the construction of a new laboratory for the Schools of the Biological Sciences and Clinical Medicine

The Council begs leave to report to the University as follows:

1. A First-stage Report on the construction of a new laboratory for the Schools of the Biological Sciences and Clinical Medicine was submitted to the Regent House on 28 January 2015 (Reporter, 6373, 2014–15, p. 346) and approved by Grace 1 of 25 February 2015. This Second-stage Report is to inform the Regent House about further development of the scheme and to seek approval for construction to proceed.

2. The strategy of both the Schools of the Biological Sciences and Clinical Medicine is to accommodate the following four complementary units, currently spread across multiple locations, into a single building to produce significant scientific synergies:

• The Cambridge Stem Cell Institute

• The Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Diseases (CITIID)

• The Cambridge Centre for Haematopoiesis and Haematological Malignancies (CCHHM)

• The Therapeutic Institute

3. The laboratory is to be constructed on University land located within the Cambridge Biomedical Campus on Puddicombe Way between the Li Ka Shing Centre and the multi-storey car park. It will comprise a gross internal area of 18,000m2 of wet and dry laboratory space with shared core facilities. The facility has been designed to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating including an energy-efficient mechanical and electrical system, material efficiency, effective waste and water management, and a gas-fired combined heat and power unit.

4. The estimated project cost is £94m. A grant of £25m has been awarded to CITIID from HEFCE’s UK Research Partnership Infrastructure Fund (UKRPIF) 2015–16 and £40m is allocated within the Capital Fund. Philanthropic donations totalling £7m have been committed to CCHHM (£2m) and the Therapeutic Institute (£5m). The balance of funding is to be raised by the Schools of the Biological Sciences and Clinical Medicine, which have underwritten the project.

5. The Planning and Resources Committee, at their meeting on 20 May 2015, approved the Full Case for this facility, construction of which is planned to be completed by early 2018.

6. Drawings of the proposed scheme are displayed for the information of the University in the Schools Arcade. A map showing the location is set out below.

7. The Council recommends:

I. That approval is confirmed for the construction of a new building on Puddicombe Way for the Schools of the Biological Sciences and Clinical Medicine as set out in this Report.

II. That the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Resources) be authorized to accept a tender for the works, within the available funding, in due course.

15 June 2015

L. K. Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor

Alice Hutchings

Shirley Pearce

Ross Anderson

Richard Jones

John Shakeshaft

Richard Anthony

Fiona Karet

Susan Smith

Jeremy Caddick

Stuart Laing

Evianne van Gijn

R. Charles

Mark Lewisohn

Sara Weller

David Good

Rebecca Lingwood

I. H. White

Nicholas Holmes

Rachael Padman

A. D. Yates

Helen Hoogewerf-McComb

Site plan: new laboratory for the schools of the Biological Sciences and Clinical Medicine

Report of the General Board on the future arrangements for the Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies (CARET)

The General Board beg leave to report to the University as follows:

1. In this Report the General Board propose that the Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies (CARET) be suppressed as a sub-Department of the University Library and that its staff and activities be transferred to the University Information Services (UIS).

2. Following the General Board’s Review of Teaching and Learning Support Services (Reporter, 6168, 2009–10, p.  260), and the approval of that Review’s recommendations, CARET became a sub-Department of the University Library in January 2011. In February 2014, the University Library Syndicate noted that whilst CARET had been a sub-Department for three years, its relationship with the Syndicate had not been formalized, and that CARET’s Committee of Management (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 657) had not met in that period. The Syndicate recommended to the General Board that the Board should undertake a review of CARET so as to determine its future direction and its relationship with the Library. At their meeting on 8 October 2014, the General Board agreed to establish a Review Committee, chaired by Professor Ian Leslie, to consider:

(a)the appropriate location of CARET in the University;

(b)the appropriate governance structure to develop CARET’s strategy and work; and

(c)the appropriate management structure to implement that strategy.

In agreeing to establish the Review, the Board were mindful of CARET’s original brief (Reporter, 5814, 1999–2000, p. 820) and the fact that CamTools, the original platform for delivering e-content (and the basis of which the original synergy between the Library and CARET was envisaged), was no longer the virtual learning environment of choice for the University, having been replaced by Moodle, administered by the UIS. The Board further noted that the formation of UIS, following approval of the Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on IT Infrastructure and Support (Reporter, 6302, 2012–13, p. 418) now suggested that it was appropriate and timely to review CARET’s location and role within the wider University.

3. The Review Committee met the following during the review: the University Librarian; the Pro-Vice-Chancellors for Education and for Research; the Director of CARET; and the Director of the UIS. The Review Committee agreed that it wished to report in two stages: firstly on CARET’s governance and organizational arrangements – with which this Report is concerned – and, at a later stage, on the broader issues of the development and use of educational technologies and on support for the digital humanities, noting that these matters would need to take into account discussions underway in other bodies, including the Board’s Education Committee.

4. That Review Committee has now reported to the Board. It concluded that the original aims when CARET was established had been extended to include projects in support of other institutions, the development of CamTools (now superseded by Moodle), support for the Digital Humanities, and support for the University’s Open Access agenda. Whilst a number of innovative user-centric-designed solutions had been developed, not all of these had figured in mainstream development and delivery across the University. Furthermore, the Review Committee considered that CARET’s placing in the Library had contributed to a deflection from its original aims. The Committee considered that the establishment of the UIS offered a valuable opportunity to reconsider arrangements for the provision of Information Services across the University including those provided by CARET. The Committee noted that a constructive relationship had been developed between the Library and the UIS. It noted also that the usability of systems would be a key consideration for the UIS, and that the development of any future technologies for the University’s educational programmes would be best conducted in such an environment. The Committee concluded that CARET should be suppressed as an independent entity and that, subject to the outcome of the necessary consultation with them, its staff should be reassigned to the UIS. The Committee was assured by the University Librarian that the Library’s IT service provision would not be undermined by such a reassignment. It also agreed that the Board should put in place mechanisms to ensure that the transfer did not endanger the operational services hitherto provided through CARET, including those supporting Open Access.

5. The General Board have accepted the Review Committee’s recommendations. They have agreed to recommend that the office of Director of CARET be suppressed and the current holder of that post reassigned to the UIS, to a new UIS post of Head of Digital Transformation Consultancy. This post will investigate and conceive innovative approaches to the provision of digital services, initially in digital education. Four holders of unestablished posts currently attached to CARET should also be reassigned to the UIS. These reassignments should be made so as to ensure integration within the UIS’s divisional structure previously agreed by the Information Services Committee. The remainder of the CARET budget should be allocated to the Digital Transformation Consultancy providing seed funding for user-driven new initiatives. These recommendations are made following the necessary consultations with the trades unions and the individual members of staff concerned. The University Librarian, the Director of the UIS, and the current Director of CARET have consented to the arrangements proposed in this Report.

6. The General Board accordingly recommend:

I. That the Ordinances for the Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 657) be rescinded.

II. That the University office of Director of CARET be suppressed.

III. That the current Director of CARET be reassigned to the UIS as Head of Digital Transformation Consultancy, and that the other staff hitherto attached to CARET be reassigned to the UIS.

IV. That the Information Services Committee review the effectiveness of the arrangements proposed in this Report by the end of the current calendar year.

12 June 2015

L. K. Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor

Robert Kennicutt

Richard Prager

Philip Allmendinger

Duncan Maskell

Rob Richardson

M. J. Daunton

Patrick Maxwell

Evianne van Gijn

Anne Davis

Martin Millett

Graham Virgo

David Good

Rachael Padman

Chris Young